I'm not going to go so far as to call Generation Zero a straight cash grab, but charging $40 for a game that was clearly rushed out the door is a hard sin to ignore. I'm not entirely sure what Avalanche's final vision for Generation Zero was, but it clearly wasn't confident enough in that vision to give the game the proper care and resources that were required.
With Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice, From Software has proven once again that has no qualms about pushing its own boundaries. The studio has made a name for itself by creating incredibly difficult games, but the breadth of innovation spread across the Dark Souls series, Bloodborne, and now Sekiro shows how good the studio is at defying fan expectations. Sekiro isn't perfect, but like the various Soulsborne games before it, From's latest shows the wisdom in pushing players beyond their pre-conceived limits.
The Division 2 is everything a player could want in a sequel. It reinvents and recalibrates where it must, but it also wisely builds off all the work Ubisoft put into refining the first Division. This sequel definitely makes you work for your rewards, but its fine-tuned gameplay and expansive suite of different activities ensures the journey towards earning those rewards is one worth taking.
Crackdown 3 does its best to ride on an action-packed wave of nostalgia, but in the end all it succeeds in doing is face-planting straight into a morass of tedium and frustration. Even the most stalwart Crackdown fans will likely wonder if the long wait was worth the final result.
If you've enjoyed playing deck-building card games and roguelikes in the past, you owe it to yourself to give Slay the Spire a try. It might take a bit to fully wrap your head around the game's concept, but once it click, it's addicting. Now's also a great time to get in on the action, since Slay the Spire will only continue to grow in the future.
Below is not an inviting or wholly accessible experience. It does, however, have a lot to offer to players who enjoy uncovering mysteries and delving headlong into the unknown. It's a more hardcore Zelda game without the true bite of a Souls-like. Love it or hate it, Below is unabashed in what it is and what it demands of players who brave its depths.
Insurgency: Sandstorm's slower, more realistic approach likely won't win over any Call of Duty fans, but then again it's not really trying to. Sandstorm was made with a very specific type of player in mind, and if you fit that mold you'll likely get dozens if not hundreds of hours out of the game. And even if you don't fit that mold completely, there are enough ancillary incentives to make Sandstorm an excellent pick-up-and-play game, especially if you have some friends to recruit.
Ashen is unique in that it borrows liberally from the Souls-like genre, but doesn't feel beholden to it. It's clear that A44 was influenced just as much by The Legend of Zelda, and even more niche adventure titles like Shadow of the Colossus, as it was by From Software's seminal Souls trilogy. Adventure game fans and Dark Souls fans alike definitely won't want to miss out on what Ashen offers.
Perhaps the most disappointing thing about The Quiet Man is that it presents a world I want to know more about. I like the idea of a deaf vigilante-esque antihero doing his best to find the good in a world of darkness and violence, even if it means having to become a force of darkness and violence himself. However, in the case of The Quiet Man, that strong premise is squandered by lazy development decisions and incredibly odd artistic choices.
If you're the sort of gamer who usually looks down their nose at the Call of Duty franchise, Black Ops 4 might just be the game that changes your opinion ever so slightly. Old-school purists can find their competitive multiplayer fix, and with the revamped Zombies and new Blackout mode, there's no denying that Treyarch's latest stands well out from the pack.
The Messenger is a game that makes no effort to hide who its intended audience is, and its clever combining of two distinct gameplay genres ensures that it casts a rather wide net. Whether you're a die-hard retro gaming fan or a genre newbie eager to dive into the deep end, Sabotage's debut title is one adventure worth embarking on.
Death's Gambit wholly embraces the Dark Souls way of giving players just enough leeway to barely survive against unrelenting adversity, for good and ill. A compelling story, smooth and frantic melee combat, and a robustly grim 2D world come together to form a game that's wholly unafraid to embrace the Souls-like moniker.
I enjoyed my time with We Happy Few mainly because it both respected my time as a gamer, and also immersed me in an fascinating world that was driven by an equally fascinating backstory. The game's potential may get a little tripped up on the technical front, but if you can look past the occasional unloaded texture or random loading screen, you'll find that Compulsion Games' latest was well worth the three-year wait.
Chasm may not be the most original or engaging metroidvania game out there, but it's still a delightfully charming adventure/RPG game that's sure to appeal to fans of The Legend of Zelda series, old-school Castlevania and Metroid games, or anyone else whose idea of a good time involves delving into monster-infested dungeons.
With a simple, easy-to-understand gameplay premise and a progression system that was pretty much designed to support microtransactions, I can see why ZKILLER would be an appealing mobile game. As a fully fledged PC title though, even its current $6.99 listing is too big a price to pay for a game that offers little in the way of substance and nothing in the way of compelling gameplay.
As I said above, I'm totally ok with admitting that Mothergunship might not have been made with my specific gaming tastes in mind. But when a game tries so hard to tell me how to play and, worse, punishes me so harshly when I fail, I just can't for the life of me imagine that any sort of gamer could find long-term enjoyment out of what it offers.
As long as you understand the sort of game it is (and the limitations of what it offers), Spartan Fist can provide a few solid hours of fun at the very least. Over time, it could grow into a more robust and complex experience that has more lasting appeal, and even in its current form there's a decent amount of content for roguelike/first-person melee fans to sink their teeth into. There are also some noticeable shortcomings to be sure, but indie fans who just want to punch some dudes with no muss and no fuss will find plenty to love about Spartan Fist.
If you already enjoyed previous Fallen London escapades like Sunless Seas, there's a good chance you'll enjoy Cultist Simulator as well. It's certainly not the easiest game to break into, but then again it was never really meant to be either. Cultist Simulator isn't afraid to keep its greatest rewards locked away for only the most patient and clever players to find, and there's a lot of potential enjoyment to be had for players who relish the journey as much as the destination.
There are few genres as universally appealing as the spy genre, and yet somehow Safe House manages to take that genre and suck virtually all the fun out of it. There are glimmers of a good game that occasionally flash by, but no matter how desperate you are for a new strategy/spy game to play, you should steer clear of Safe House unless the idea of hand cramps induced by endless mouse-clicking somehow sounds appealing to you.
Given its dark and mature fantasy theme, Conan Exiles is a surprisingly accessible online survival experience. Even under the most generous conditions the game will still challenge you as you make your mark on the world, and players who fancy themselves as survival game experts will find plenty to pit their abilities against. No matter your level of experience, Conan Exiles is a survival experience that is very much worth investing in.